To play music, click "Launch Music Player" below.

Avi's Debut Album, Something New, is available now!


Japan Tour Part IV


the corner table is reserved for the band.

at Zimagine jazz club in Tokyo.

and when Toru welcomed me on stage, I was prepared:‬

“‪皆さん, こんばんは
‪すみません, 私は日本語を話せません”

[try google translate]

countless times playing with Toru in the US, i’d bring the band back to Yardley Pennsylvania where my mom would feed us after a show. being here in Japan, it is really comforting to know that so many things, like moms feeding musicians at midnight, are universal.

On my last night in japan, Toru told me to come outside quick. The clouds were finally parting and I would have one last chance to see her before I left. Mt Fuji is regularly visible in winter, and only fleetingly in the summer. But if the view of Fuji is clear, if she reveals herself to you, it means good luck.

There are many stories and legends about the highest mountain in Japan, many things that it represents. I read in a few places people who claim that “Fuji is the soul of Japan”. This trip was short, and i mostly experienced Fuji from afar and only briefly. i’ll have to come back to see it more clearly.

Sayonara is a poetic way of saying goodbye. literally translated:
if it is to be that way, if it must be so

thank you to my friends, old and new,
for welcoming me & showing me your country,
for proving that music is truly the universal language.


follow me on tour in Japan on twitter (#BigInJapan)


Japan Tour Part III


Arrived in Tokyo
i could get used to a room with a view

exploring Tokyo with Toru
it’s the best when you get to let a friend be an unabashed tourist in their own backyard

and as a tourist, i reserve the right to eat tiny little sumo wrestlers
(Harajuku District)

breakfast sushi deserves breakfast sake

at the world’s largest & most famous Tsukiji fish market
乾杯! Cheers! to the best sushi of my life

wandering a silent bamboo forrest

the Tokyo SkyTree is tall.
impossibly tall. indescribable even.
kind of like a, like a,

rainy day tokyo

follow me on tour in Japan on twitter (#BigInJapan)


Japan Tour Part II

finally found Mt Fuji.
I just had to get a little higher.

soundcheck in Gotemba, for the first show in Japan

I make music to connect, always looking for that way in, to know I spoke to someone’s heart and to see it in their eyes “message received”. it’s on a whole other level to be able to transcend language to experience it. even though most in attendance did not know english, it was such joy to have the crowd snap along with Rabbit Hole, sing along with Sky Blue Sky, and to feel the audience soar along with New Year. even more so to see my friend Toru celebrated as a Hometown Hero.

scenes from our concert in Gotemba

follow me on tour in Japan on twitter (#BigInJapan)


Japan Tour Part I


hello from the future!
(Tokyo is 13 hours ahead of Philadelphia)

I was the only person on my plane to have a sign waiting for them.

on the hunt for Mt Fuji.
Toru lives in the town of Gotemba, which sits in the shadow of nearby Mt Fuji. we drove around Lake Yamanaka trying to find a good view of her, but the clouds were not cooperating. we will keep trying.

but we did find the Denny’s.

one rehearsal in Tokyo.
it’s amazing when you fly half way around the world to make music with people you never met before. and it sounds like you’ve been playing forever.
music transcends all boundaries.
also, this practice space has good lighting.

celebrating a marathon rehearsal at a nearby izakaya with new friends. we let Taka do all the ordering: bbq pork, edamame, sticky potato, mixed vegetables with miso paste, chicken dumplings, chicken livers, udon noodles, horse sashimi,
and sake, and sake, and sake, and sake

Toru and I walked along his family’s rice fields on the way to our first show in Japan. we traded memories of being on tour together in the states: that time we performed at a nudist colony in West Virginia; that time we did Tai Chi waiting to go on stage in Wisconsin; that time we hung out with the Amish at Burger King in Ohio; that time we met The Roots in Oklahoma, and they drove him to the airport. we laughed a lot.
Mt Fuji is clearer now in the distance, but still a bit shy.

follow me on tour in Japan on twitter (#BigInJapan)


Live in Japan, with Torujazz Trio


We always talked about playing music in Japan.

Toru Takiguchi was one of the first musicians i ever worked with when i started performing in New York City. Over 9 years, we ended up performing all over the country together. I got to introduce him to my hometown and some of my favorite cities. It’s been a few years since he moved back to his homeland.

Time for a reunion.

Avi Wisnia, On Tour in Japan with the Torujazz Trio
Concert Info & Tickets | RSVP



All content copyright ©2007-2011 Avi Wisnia

Website design and development by Jeffrey Paul Designs